The Rover's Secret
It was a bit puzzling to to work out who or what the Rover was, and what the secret was. The word Rover is not mentioned once in the body-text of the book, and the word secret only three or four times. However, eventually I sussed it out. The Rover is a pirate who figures enough in the book for one to be aware he is there. He is mortally wounded, and in the last chapter he tells his secret before he dies, thus providing an explanation for several other puzzling things that we have been told, or that happened, in the book.
On the other hand I was not too happy with the overall style of the book, which is too florid and long-winded. Practically every sentence could be greatly shortened without loss, and it is sometimes an amusing exercise to rest from reading, and then try to re-phrase the current paragraph.
Apart from those things, the book is written in a style much like that of Kingston. This is typical of Collingwood, but one sometimes thinks he is a bit plagiaristic. That doesn’t stop it from being quite an enjoyable book.
Harry Collingwood (1851-1922). Pseudonym of William Joseph Cosens Lancaster, a civil engineer who specialised in seas and harbours.
A PDF of scans and an HTML version of this book are provided. We also provide a plain TEXT version and full instructions for using this to make your own audiobook. To find these click on the PDF, HTML or TXT links on the left.
These transcriptions of books by various nineteenth century authors of instructive books for teenagers, were made during the period 1997 to the present day by Athelstane e-Books. Most of the books are concerned with the sea, but in any case all will give a good idea of life in the nineteenth century. This of course includes attitudes prevalent at the time, but frowned upon nowadays.
We used a Hewlett-Packard scanner, a Plustek OpticBook 3600 scanner or a Nikkon Coolpix 5700 camera to scan the pages. We then made a pdf which we used to assist with editing the OCRed text.
To make a text version we used TextBridge Pro 98 or ABBYY Finereader 7 or 8 to produce a first draft of the text, and Athelstane software to find misreads and improve the text. We proof-read the chapters, and then made a CD with the book read aloud by either Fonix ISpeak or TextAloud MP3. The last step enables us to hear and correct most of the errors that may have been missed by the other steps, as well as entertaining us during the work of transcription.
The resulting text can be read at www.athelstane.co.uk
The PDF version is constructed from 300 dpi scans. To get best value set "Use Logical Page Numbers" to "ON" in Edit/Preferences/Page Display of your PDF viewer. To obtain the HTML file find the area on the left of this page which has PDF, HTML and TXT in it, and click on HTML. In this version the entire book appears in the one file, which also includes the style-sheet and any pictures, and is written in xhtml. The larger of the two TXT files is what you need to create an audiobook, using for instance Text Aloud MP3. The smaller of the two TXT files contains full instructions for doing so.
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